If following your dreams requires having an abortion, is this truly a pro-woman society?
If choosing when or with whom you have your children requires dismissing a child’s right to life, is this really a pro-child society?
Michelle Williams’ comments at the Golden Globes have once again highlighted the depths to which we have fallen. It is painfully obvious that a society where pregnant women and mothers cannot achieve their goals is not something we should be celebrating. Rather, we should be mourning the fact that we have managed to mask a lack of genuine support and real choices under the title of mainstream ‘feminism’. My heart aches for the women who see this as a triumph, as something to be celebrated. Any authentically pro-woman and pro-child society would see the absolute tragedy of abortion being viewed as one’s only practical option to get ahead.
As a woman who has passed through the university halls and now those of the workplace, it saddens me to see the consistently gaping hole in our support for women and their children from the moment they step out into the world, particularly in a society proclaiming their efforts to enhance female rights. Our western culture has managed to promote abortion in favour of all other options, completely disregarding the crucial support required for women who do not want to abort their child, but who want to continue working, studying and, yes Michelle, following their dreams.
So what does a truly pro-woman and pro-child society look like?
Firstly, it most certainly does not look like one in which women must ‘choose’ between abortion or their careers. Throughout my own life, it has become increasingly apparent that having children and large families is not something which our society encourages, practically supports or even respects. The subconscious biases we have against working or studying mothers, the language we use towards women who choose to work flexibly, our reactions to someone’s inconvenient pregnancy and our ‘celebrating’ of abortions to achieve one’s dreams all stand to perpetuate the anti-woman, anti-child society we live in.
Although our attitudes, language and subconscious biases are a contributing factor, this is not a single-pronged solution. As students, we should exercise our rights and influence to ensure universities provide adequate support for studying mothers in the form of baby change facilities, reduced on-campus childcare fees and equitable treatment regarding assessments. As young professionals we can support those organisations which provide crucial support and real options to women facing unexpected pregnancies, such as Diamond Women’s Support.
Lastly, it is the responsibility of all voting citizens to ensure that we are continually fighting for policies and programs which support a pro-woman and pro-child society. Hungary has recently introduced several pro-family policies such as mortgage reductions for additional children, additional leave for parents and exemptions from personal income tax for mothers of 4 or more children. These types of policies would help to lessen the financial burden on mothers who otherwise view abortion as their only option. These policies also help shape the conversation around parenting from one which views motherhood as an inconvenience, to one which realises the gift of children as contributing members to society and the strong, capable women which motherhood forges.
Pro-family and authentically pro-woman policies help undermine the discrimination and judgmental attitudes working mothers face and ensure that we continue to build a society which upholds the dignity of all human life.
Please do not hesitate to contact your local MP and urge them to fight for the real support and action which a truly pro-woman and pro-child society requires.